New to the UK this week is the British horror-chiller, Kindred. The movie tells the story of a young pregnant woman, who begins to suspect her boyfriend’s family may have sinister plans for her unborn child.

In the movie, Charlotte and Ben are a young couple, who reside in England. Life is good, but they want a change of pace and decide now is the right time to emigrate to Australia.

Ben’s mother, Margaret disapproves. She is keen for the pair to remain close to home, and becomes even more insistent when she learns that Charlotte has fallen pregnant.

The pregnancy should be a happy time for all, but the happiness is cut short when tragedy strikes and Ben is killed in an accident. Both Margaret and Charlotte are devastated, and tensions begin to mount.

In the days that follow, Margaret tries to smooth things over and invites Charlotte to stay at the family home, so that she can help take care of Charlotte and her unborn child. However, the longer Charlotte remains at the family home, the more she begins to feel like a prisoner, and she soon starts to worry there may be more to Margaret’s kindness than she is letting on.

But is Charlotte correct in her thinking or is the pregnancy simply making her paranoid? And if it isn’t paranoia, who can she turn to for help, now that she is cut off from the outside world?

Kindred stars Tamara Lawrance, Fiona Shaw, Jack Lowden, and Edward Holcroft. The movie is currently available to stream in the UK via SKY Cinema and NOW TV, and if you like small-scale suspenseful thrillers, you should definitely give it a watch.

Image: ©IFC Midnight
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Kindred marks the feature film debut of director Joe Marcantonio, and I have to say, what a debut it is. Had I not looked Joe up on IMDb, I would have presumed this was the director’s third or fourth feature, so it is fair to say that he is off to a fine start.

This movie has been put together with confidence, by a director who knows exactly the story he wants to tell. Sure, it doesn’t break any new ground, and the film has a certain whiff of Rosemary’s Baby (1968) about it, but this is solid stuff nonetheless, and highly enjoyable too.

Image: ©IFC Midnight

Across the film’s 101-minute running time, Kindred delivers some genuine chills, a couple of shock moments, and superb performances from the cast. Tamara Lawrance and Fiona Shaw are both excellent in this picture, with Shaw in particular delivering a very unsettling turn as Margaret – a woman who could either be your best friend or your worst nightmare.

Shaw is always good in every role she plays, but here she really excels. I found her captivating to watch, and yet so unnerving at the same time.

Her performance is understated, and this is perfectly in-keeping with the tone and feel of this movie. Kindred is a very understated picture, which never tries to be flashy or showy – it simply wants to tell an intimate tale that gets under your skin.  

What I like most about Kindred is that it doesn’t attempt any jump scares or any gruesome scenes. The horror is instead built up over time, by making the audience feel uneasy about Charlotte’s plight, and this elicits genuine concern about her welfare.

Image: ©IFC Midnight
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For me, Kindred is a great little domestic chiller and perfect for a spot of late-night viewing. It is a slow burner, so do keep this in mind if you are after something fast-paced, but if tension-building is your thing, then this movie has you covered.

With lots of new blockbusters hitting cinema screens right now, I fear Kindred could get lost in the mix, but don’t let it. Add it to your watch list, and give it time to weave its magic.

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